The Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov), is an economically important pest of small grains. Since its introduction into North America in 2003, Russian wheat aphid Biotype 2 has been found to be virulent to all commercially available winter wheat, Triticum aestivum L., cultivars. Our goal was to examine differences in Russian wheat aphid reproduction and development on a variety of plant hosts to gain information about 1) potential alternate host refuges, 2) selective host pressures on Russian wheat aphid genetic variation, and 3) general population dynamics of Russian wheat aphid Biotype 2. We studied host quality of two wheatgrasses (crested wheatgrass, Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn., and intermediate wheatgrass, Agropyron intermedium [Host] Beauvoir) and two types of winter wheat (T. aestivum, one Biotype 2 susceptible wheat, ‘Custer’ and one biotype 2 resistant wheat, STARS02RWA2414-11). The susceptible wheat had the highest intrinsic rate of increase, greatest longevity and greatest fecundity of the four host studied. Crested wheatgrass and the resistant wheat showed similar growth rates. Intermediate wheatgrass had the lowest intrinsic rate of increase and lowest fecundity of all tested hosts.
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Vol. 101 • No. 2